I was heading home and my car started running rough then just shut off. Did my fuel pump die?
What Vehicle? 1998 Nissan 200SX
If you let it sit for 10-15 minutes does it start back up? No
Diagnosis by phone: My first guess was that the fuel pump, fuel pump relay may have quit.
Final diagnosis: The three basic things you need to get an engine to start are air, fuel and spark. So we start with those. I started by putting an inductive sensor on the #1 plug wire and cranked the engine. The sensor was picking up a signal, but it wasn’t at the regular rhythmic cycle that I expected, so I suspected something in the ignition system. I pulled the air filter to check and see if there was anything blocking it, but it was good. Air system is most likely not the issue. Next I pulled the plugs. Plugs smelled of fuel, so I could most likely rule out the fuel system. Plugs looked normal except a little oily. I reinstalled them and worked up the ignition system. I pulled the cap and something fell out on the floor when I removed it. Initially I thought it might have been the carbon button in the center of the cap, but I was wrong. I looked under the car for the item that fell out and found a small screw. On inspecting the rotor I found that on this particular vehicle the rotor is held in place with a screw that comes in from the side and threads into the distributor shaft.
Solution: Reinstall the distributor rotor and screw with a half drop of medium Locktite. Cleaned up the inside of the cap and the rotor contact. Reinstalled the distributor cap. Started right up.